Recent IPOs: Bellwethers of Tech Investor Sentiment

A few months back, I shared that 2021 was a gargantuan year for IPOs, with 1,035 of them—the highest number I could find in the last quarter century. 

In 2022, we saw just a fraction of that number of IPOs, 181 to be exact. As of the writing of this post, we’ve had 114 IPOs in 2023, which means we’re tracking for fewer than in 2022.

A few weeks ago, I shared my thoughts on the draft S-1 filings by Instacart and Klaviyo in anticipation of going public (see here and here). This week, both companies held their IPOs (NASDAQ: CART and NYSE: KNYO). Both offerings are complete, and the companies are now trading on public stock exchanges.

I suspect that venture capital investors and founders of late-stage tech companies will closely watch how both companies perform in the public markets over the next few weeks. If their stock prices are flat to up, we could see an increase in the number of technology companies filing to go public and maybe even see more IPOs in 2023 than in 2022. If their stock prices fall materially, I wouldn’t be surprised if 2023 is another year of declining IPO activity as companies elect to wait for better conditions in early 2024.

For better or worse, these companies will likely have a material impact on upcoming IPO activity and technology investor sentiment.